I’M not 21 yet

We’re sorry, we take seriously our responsibility to limit website access to adults 21 years and older or have a medical card.

Guide To Hotboxing

Have you ever been at a party and noticed that all of the stoners are missing? Where are they? What are they all doing in the bedroom/bathroom/2002 Chevy Trailblazer? In this article, we’re going to break down what it means to be inside of the hotbox. 

What is Hotboxing?

“Hotboxing” means to get very very high in a small, contained space. Usually performed by young adults who do not have a home of their own in which to smoke, hotboxing is a long-standing tradition of getting extremely stoned somewhat secretly within a larger party of people who do not partake.

Think about the smoke emission from a single lit joint or a blunt. It’s enough to stink up an entire party when smoked in the living room. So out of respect for the non-smokers, and out of the interest of getting as high as possible, cannabis smokers will often slink away to a secluded location together to partake in several joints/blunts/vapes/bong rips all at once. 

The amount of THC-laden smoke becomes extremely concentrated in a small space with no fresh air, which makes for a much more potent high. No fresh air flow plus hella weed? Sounds like a party!

Can You Get High In A Hotbox Without Smoking?

Yes! In 2015 The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine did a study using 7 smokers and 12 non-smokers. They were all sealed in a room together for an hour, and during/after that time they were monitored. 

The non-smokers were reported to “feel it” (the effects of marijuana) for under an hour, while the smokers were “feeling it” for up to 4 hours.

Be warned, that if you are not partaking in cannabis because you need to pass a drug test, do not go into the hot box! Inhaling THC smoke for a prolonged amount of time will mean that THC will be detectable in your body.

“None of the nonsmokers in the unventilated session had detectable blood cannabinoids at baseline, but all six had detectible levels of THC following secondhand smoke exposure.”

So if you don’t like getting high, do not follow suit when someone in a Sublime T-shirt starts pointing at people and beckoning them to come smoke. 

Exiting The Hotbox Protocol

If you are in a hotbox, you’re going to smell like weed.

There will be a moment when the door opens, and you and your smoking crew will enter back into the world accompanied by a white cloud of weed smoke. 

Pro tip: head straight to the bathroom. Wash your hands, splash some water on your eyes and in your mouth. Get a piece of gum going. If you are really fancy maybe you have a little bottle of perfume on your person at all times for moments such as this.

You’re about to be colliding with un-high people, and you want to set yourself up for success as much as possible. 

Being high on weed can be a secret super-power that may help ease social-anxiety, or it can go the other way! If you are becoming paranoid that you are too high, take a minute to do a little reset: get some fresh air, and take care of yourself. 


If you have asthma or any respiratory issues, or you are afraid of getting sick from sharing abundant amounts of carbon dioxide with friends and randos at a party, stay away from the hot box. 

There’s no shame in not going into the smoking-room. Just do whatever is right for you, boo-boo! 

And as always, be careful about getting crossfaded. If you are drinking booze and then switch to getting high, you risk being on a hellish solo mission to Mars that only time will heal. 

Also! If you’re smoking in a car, do not drive! Just stay parked and put some tunes on. Getting arrested for a DUI is not worth the fine, the license suspension, the jail time, or anyone getting hurt.

In Conclusion

Hotboxing is a classic right of passage for every serious stoner. 

Since weed has been legalized in 18 states (and decriminalized in 38 states), the pressure to be secretive about smoking is not as high as it used to be. However, it’s still respectful to non-smokers in a social setting to take the smoking somewhere secluded. 

And while trapped in the closet with other 420-friendly folks, you might as well enjoy the benefits of an extra potent smoke-sesh.